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Thursday, March 20, 2014 // 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Opening Reception: Greenhouse Mix: Caroline Lathan-Stiefel; and NOISE: Electricity for Progress


The Philadelphia Art Alliance is thrilled to present two solo exhibitions by artist Caroline Lathan-Steifel and sound artist Sam Cusumano:

Greenhouse Mix: Caroline Lathan-Stiefel

Greenhouse Mix is a site-specific textile installation inside the Wetherill Mansion inspired by Philadelphia’s rich history as a center of horticulture. Greenhouse Mix comprises three distinct components: two gallery installations and a project in the grand stairway of the PAA.

Responding to the period room details of the PAA galleries, Lathan-Stiefel will reconfigure her piece green-house, inspired by the form and pattern of the stacked stones of botanist John Bartram’s Philadelphia greenhouse which he built himself. Victorian-style ferneries and the idea of a “jungle in the salon” influence the second installation, Hothouse, which will contain both textile and real ferns, along with a recorded sound piece. Lathan-Stiefel’s project in the stairway of the PAA, Frakturing, echoes the shapes and colors of both Pennsylvania Dutch Fraktur designs and the original 1905 stained glass window which features botanical imagery and plant forms. This piece will also invite viewers to think about issues of plant diversity and sustainability in an age of fracking.

More Here

NOISE: Electricity for Progress

NOISE: Electricity for Progress is a series of interactive and site specific installations by Philadelphia-based artist Sam Cusumano. Exemplary of the new approach to craft that has re-surfaced within the last decade, the exhibition explores the craftsmanship of sound as expressed through a concentration on the repurposing of found materials, biology, and direct audience interaction.

Focused on the synergies between technology and the natural environment, viewers are invited to experiment with creating new sounds using electrical engineering and computing software. Many of the projects utilize organic materials such as plants and fruit, as well as the electrical inner parts of toys or now outmoded devices. These are manipulated to create an alternative interface to achieve various sound effects, thus subverting their original intention. Ultimately, the goal is to illustrate, through manipulation of sound, how technology can relate to the natural world.

More Here